The Sideshow

Texas gun range offers target practice from a helicopter

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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A rifleman demonstrates the helicopter target practice course. (helicoptersniper.com)

The gun debate went to new heights in one Texas town, where the owners of a gun range are letting customers take part in a target practice from inside a helicopter.

"It's like the ultimate video game," Dan Claassen of Helicopter Sniper Adventure told local ABC affiliate WFAA.

And while the concept may sound extreme to some, Claassen says a number of safety precautions have been put into place.

"It's not like we're endangering anybody's life with our flight patterns or our techniques," he said. "Everything is totally safe in that regard."

It’s also entirely legal under Federal Aviation Administration and local county regulations.

Customers pay $795 to take part in the firefight flight, which includes a safety training class, awards ceremony and lunch. Well, and unlike an actual firefight, no returning fire. The individual flights are relatively short, lasting about 15 minutes per person. Still, that’s enough time to fire off an estimated 500 rounds of .233 semiautomatic rifle ammunition.

On the company's website, a video advertising the service says, "This weekend, have a few rounds with the boys."

A safety officer is onboard all flights.

"It's not like we're hitting this every day," Claassen told the station. "So it's not noise pollution. So there is no noise. It's the world safest and quietest helicopter."

Still, some neighbors in the small North Texas town of Aubrey say they were unaware of the airborne shoots until they literally heard the assault rifle fire raining down from above.

"The first time they were hovering right over our two acres, shooting at whatever," said local resident Michael Lauer. "You really didn't know were they shooting at me."

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